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Open mike 01/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 1st, 2012 - 70 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

70 comments on “Open mike 01/11/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    BAMIAN, Afghanistan — The war has finally found Bamian, a remote corner of Afghanistan that for a decade had enjoyed near immunity to Taliban violence…..

    ……a series of deadly strikes in recent months has intimidated residents and served notice that roads are unsafe and government officials are targets.

    New York Times


    With news that the security situation in Bamian province is getting worse and “officials are targets

    Former Afghan teenage interpreter, Diamond Kazimi, tells Kathryn Ryan how shabbily our Afghan support team in Bamian is being treated by the Defence Force and the government. As the Taliban get stronger in the region, and in the lead up to our withdrawal, Kazimi reports that support team workers have been receiving threats to their lives by phone, letter, and even verbally delivered in person from Taliban supporters.

    Because of these very real threats, Diamond Kazimi has made an appeal through the media to New Zealanders to take up the cause of the abandoned support workers and pressure the government to reverse their decision to leave them behind to be killed or otherwise punished.


    Prime Minister John Key says a resettlement offer to Afghan interpreters applies only to those currently working with the New Zealand Defence Force in Bamyan province because they are the ones most at risk from the Taliban.

    Radio New Zealand news

    The Prime Minister’s statement reveals that the government is counting only on the good will of the Taliban to not to take revenge against the rest.

    With news that the NZSAS is currently engaged in a revenge mission. Mercy from the Taliban even towards those the Prime Minister claims are not the “ones most at risk” is likely to be non-existent.

    With the removal to safety of those described by the Prime Minister as “most at risk”, the risk will go down the chain. The “ones” casually deemed by the Prime Minister as not most at risk – as the only ones that the Taliban can get their hands on, will likely receive Taliban revenge attack disproportionate to their involvement with us.

    No matter how you dress it up, only 23 to 26 families will be given sanctuary in New Zealand. The majority are going to be abandoned to their fate.

    Defence Minister Johnathon Coleman has said that those left behind can apply as refugees, and if their lives are in danger their applications will be looked on “reasonably”. Coleman went on to say this favourable eye would not be extended to cooks cleaners and other contracted support staff. As they had “not had a high profile“. This maybe so. But this doesn’t mean that the local Taliban supporters don’t know who the cook for our troops is. And will not be determined to punish her after we leave.


    The government continuing their legalistic quibbling in defence of their policy of abandoning our Afghan support, have argued that no promise was made to the interpreters, or to our other Afghan support personal before they were hired. And that the army are quite within their legal rights to leave them behind to face the fury of the Taliban. However, Diamond Kazimi claims, some were given a letter from the commander of the last rotation assuring them of asylum, an assurance which the Defence Force is now distancing themselves from. The commanders and officials are refusing to reply to the emails of those they gave this promise to.

    Diamond Kazimi told Kathryn Ryan that he is making efforts to get a copy of this written assurance sent to him from Afghanistan.

    I would argue, that there was also an unspoken promise made to these people when we hired them. The same promise made to the New Zealand people. That our mission in Afghanistan would be successful. That the Western Alliance would be victorious. That the Taliban would be defeated. And finally, that Afghanistan would be made a safer place for all. None of this has happened. And now we are leaving those Afghan citizens who supported us, alone and undefended.

    For the loyalty they showed and the sacrifices they made, and the hardships they bore, after the promises we gave, this will leave a very bitter legacy of our military presence in Bamian.

    I need to some help from the media to get my point out there for the government to hear. There are people that remain in Afghanistan and I don’t want to leave them behind…….

    ….I don’t have any authority, and I can’t do anything, and as I have said before they have tried to email them, those former commanders and those former officials but it is really disappointing how they didn’t even email them back. Because they have got kids, they have got families. How hard will it be for them to hear the news that they are only going to take 23 to 26 interpreters who are currently working, and not these poor people who have worked for more than a decade, and it is just heart breaking for them….

    ….the forces (that are working with them) do agree that everyone should be included in this deal. But it is just like; I just don’t understand this decision that John Key made regarding of this. Because there are like, contractors, electricians, builders who first worked for the New Zealand army in there to build the base. I mean, they’re the ones, that we need to look into that too. They have actually helped us build the base and they are still waiting they are locals they need New Zealand’s help…..

    There are more than five or ten, there are a hundred of them…..

    There is a female who works in the base and she usually cooks for the soldiers, I mean, what a great danger she is going to be (in) when New Zealand leaves……

    These people, the contractors, the interpreters, the former interpreters want their families to become residents of New Zealand. Because these people have actually showed commitment, they have done service to New Zealand and they deserve to come here.

    Diamond Kazimi Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan, 26/10/ 2012

    Shame on the government, shame on all of us. If after publicly pleading with us to save their lives we leave any of our mission support staff behind to be killed.

    Their blood will be on our hands.

    • Red Rosa 1.1

      Well said.

      And as Afghanistan slips back into murderous chaos, a small slice of it will be ruing the day they ever relied on the word of Key and Coleman.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        Instead of our soldiers retreating in good order their honour intact. A sad and disgraceful chapter in New Zealand’s military history is currently being written by this government, and the commanders under them.

        I might ask these commanders, and even those who serve under them. Whatever happened to the time honoured military code, “Leave no man behind”? Do you think that this tradition should only apply to those who wear body armour and carry the guns?

        Is this really the sort of treatment to those who served closely beside you, that you signed up for?

        When you were serving beside them in the field did you ever think that they would abandon you?

        Do you think that they ever imagined, that you would abandon them?

        • Colonial Viper

          Whatever happened to the time honoured military code, “Leave no man behind”? Do you think that this tradition should only apply to those who wear body armour and carry the guns?

          That’s correct. It doesn’t apply to civilians. It’s also a motto that was made famous by the US Marines, US Army Rangers and the Foreign Legion. Not by NZ forces.

    • ianmac 1.2

      NZ will develop a reputation of using people then abandoning them like cast off clothing. A sort of abuse?

    • PlanetOrphan 1.3

      How big is Bamian province? should move the lot of them over!

  2. just saying 2

    A TED talk by Heather Brooke about government corruption. Quite boring imo, for such an interesting subject. However, I found this this international open source programme for freedom of information, fascinating. It allows anyone with internet access to type in a freedom of information question, and the programme does all the work and publishes the result.

    … So this is a guy called Seb Bacon. He’s a computer programmer, and he built a site called Alaveteli, and what it is, it’s a Freedom of Information platform. It’s open-source, with documentation, and it allows you to make a Freedom of Information request, to ask your public body a question, so it takes all the hassle out of it, and I can tell you that there is a lot of hassle making these requests, so it takes all of that hassle out, and you just type in your question, for example, how many police officers have a criminal record? It zooms it off to the appropriate person, it tells you when the time limit is coming to an end, it keeps track of all the correspondence, it posts it up there, and it becomes an archive of public knowledge. So that’s open-source and it can be used in any country where there is some kind of Freedom of Information law. So there’s a list there of the different countries that have it, and then there’s a few more coming on board. So if any of you out there like the sound of that and have a law like that in your country, I know that Seb would love to hear from you about collaborating and getting that into your country…


    From what I can see, NZ FOI isn’t yet available on this site. But all it will take is someone with the computer knowledge and time to set it up. I’m sure it will happen and it will become a wonderful resource for citizens.

  3. just saying 3

    I see ‘open mike’ is now “by” “NATWATCH”. Is this a new author, or are we, the commenters, collectively “NATWATCH”

    Trivial, but I’m curious.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    Quote from Tumeke! today below:

    “I couldn’t work for a man who purposely promoted an interview with Jim Anderton that was edited on purpose to look like Jim had said an earthquake would be the only thing that could cost him the election. I couldn’t work for a man who was calling for Cornelius Arie Smith to be gut shot for looting before his Aspergers was made public. I couldn’t work for a man with such a hysterical hatred of Unions that he willingly published the personal details of an employee to point score.

    Oh and let’s not forget his claim that Chris Carter’s decade old dead mother was using a taxpayer funded cell phone.

    No, I couldn’t work for Christian Family man and gun fetishist Cameron Slater. He’s not a journalist, he’s a far right hate merchant whose blog borders on hate speech.”

  5. marsman 5

    National’s WOF scam is for the benefit of trucking firms. Trucks comprise 2.5% of road traffic and 15% of road deaths are caused by trucks so the morons in National want the trucking companies to write their own WOFs so they can make more profit. Fucking monsters

    Hidden agenda behind WOF changes – expert | Scoop News


  6. Professor Longhair 6

    Madeleine Albright still defiant

    Watch this woman in action, and weep for humanity….


  7. karol 7

    A tip, for those like me, slow on the uptake:  Don’t go to the NZ Herald home page – it’s a diaster zone – tabloid chaos.
    Go straight to the National and World pages – there you get mostly news without so much of the headache-inducing and distracting fluff. 
    Disclaimer: even on the more news-focused pages, I don’t guarantee any sort of quality or lack of neoliberal bias.




    #19 by Penny Bright

    Is the paper going to keep the name ‘TRUTH’ with Cameron Slater as Editor?

    My personal experience of Cameron Slater is that he purports to support ‘freedom of expression’ – but not on his ‘Whaleoil’ blog.

    Cameron Slater has banned me from his blog – although I am never personally abusive, am able to sustantiate my considered opinion with FACTS and EVIDENCE and always put my name to my posts in an ‘open, transparent and accountable’ way.

    I guess Cameron Slater doesn’t like to hear the TRUTH’ when it conflicts with his ‘opinion’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


    In my considered opinion, Cameron Slater has been appointed as Editor of the ‘TRUTH’ to push a rabid anti-union line to a mainly working-class readership?

    • freedom 8.1

      “he purports to support ‘freedom of expression’” ahhh I see where you went wrong there

      he avidly supports freedom of his expression Penny, not any one else’s
      having a tabloid at his fingertips has probably busted the elastic on his grots

      (apologies to all for that image)

    • The left loves to censor, just look at the hand mirror and kiwistargazer, but when it happens to them, well thats a different story, huh.

    • Chalupa Batman 8.3

      My opinion is he banned you for posting long-winded boring diatribes that had nothing to do with the thread. You also wouldn’t engage when challenged and most importantly of all…its his blog and he’ll run it the way he wants to

      You are, after all, allowed to run your own blog.

  9. Pete 9

    Duncan Garner is damning of David Shearer. I’m inclined to agree with him. The narrative that’s emerging is that Shearer is not up to the job. If caucus can’t bring itself to make Cunliffe leader, at this point I’d settle for the return of Goff.

    • karol 9.1

      And this comment by Garner is damning of the current Labour Party leadership!

      Cunliffe was the easiest to get hold of. But, without naming names, the hoopla I was put through before he was ‘allowed’ on TV was fascinating. Even Cunliffe was nervous – but keen.
      It took six hours of negotiating to get him on. It was quite simply, outrageous. It took me one text to get Russel Norman on the telly. It took two phone calls to get the Prime Minister to agree to a one-on-one interview.
      Labour needs to look at itself. If reporters want to interview Cunliffe – they should be allowed to. I believe Labour is blocking his appearances or at least trying to limit them. Certainly on TV anyway.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    This is a great comment about the ‘pro-life’ movement:

    The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It’s about regulating sex. That’s why they oppose birth control. That’s why they want to ban abortion even though doing so will simply drive women to have dangerous back alley abortions.…

    It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.

    I don’t agree with everything she writes. In fact, I believe that the ‘pro-life’ movement is actually about increasing population because our economic system requires it. Without an increasing market to sell goods to profit would decline.

    • Rogue Trooper 10.1

      This is a very thought-provoking topic Draco; personally, I was pro-life, but you know, the use of stones has been round a long-time.

      ( I wonder how these political positions align with all that the law and the prophets hang on?)

      Wow! The discourse sure has been personal these past threads or two; summer heat? increased light?

      (depression can be fatal)

    • joe90 10.2


      It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex


      Televangelist Jerry Falwell spearheaded the reversal of opinion on abortion in the late 1970s, leading his Moral Majority activist group into close political alliance with Catholic organizations against the sexual revolution

    • Descendant Of Smith 10.3

      I would have added a slight but important qualification in there.

      “It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling (poor or working class) women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.”

      There’s a different set of rules for the well off and more recently famous who are allowed their mistresses and whose young men are allowed to sow their wild oats, where trading in your partner for a younger model reminds you of how powerful you are.

      When is the last time you saw the religous berating the wealthy for their broken relationships, their second or third marriages, their dalliances or their affairs.

    • xtasy 10.4


    • “In fact, I believe that the ‘pro-life’ movement is actually about increasing population because our economic system requires it.”

      The pro-life movement is not about economics in the slightest. It is religious

  11. Murray Olsen 11

    I’m in two minds about these interpreters. Part of me says they’ll get what they deserve and are equal to collaborators in occupied Europe during WW2. The other part says that they did help our government’s troops and it reflects badly on us to leave them there. Obviously this sort of situation can only be avoided once we stop participating in the invasions of other nations, and I think aiming for that is a better use of my energies than worrying about those who helped invading forces. On the other hand, I thought Key and co would identify strongly with anyone who acted as an agent of foreign powers, seeing as that is so central to their own actions.

  12. PlanetOrphan 12

    Good too see Kim Dotcom is up and running again, encrypted this time

    Can’t beat them encrypted caching engines aye M8! 🙂

  13. AnnaLiviaPluraBella 13

    DAVID Cameron’s conference speech was being discussed in a Glasgow pub last night. Amongst the negative comments, one toper piped up: “To be fair to David Cameron, he’s doing the work of two men.”  This comment surprised a few folk until the chap added: “Laurel and Hardy.”
    From Ken Smuth’s Diary, Herald Scotland.

  14. Dv 14

    Well, well, well Look at this


    New Zealand tops the education rankings – which were made on the basis of performance in three areas: access to education, quality of education and human capital.

    New Zealand’s lowest ranked sub-index was economic prosperity, for which we were ranked 27 of the 142 countries in the survey.

  15. Chalupa Batman 15

    Serious question here.

    You lefties complain about the MSM when really most the MSM in NZ is left-leaning (maybe not left-leaning enough), you’re now running scared because Cam Slaters the editor of the Truth so why question is:

    Whats stopping a bunch of you lefties getting together and starting up your own newspaper to combat the supposed right-wing newspapers?

    Unions, latte liberals etc etc should be able to kick to start one up so why not do it?

    • Descendant Of Smith 15.1

      Left leaning MSM – yep I can see the editorials all over the place promoting 8 hour working days, decent wages, increased rights for unions, increasing taxation, trumpeting our education system as one of the best in the world, telling private schools to bugger off from expecting state-funding, promting the welfare state as something positive and important, etc etc.

      Fuck the Labour Party can’t even express these things and you somehow think the MSM is more left than Labour.

      And for me all those things were normal growing up.

      It shows how far to the right we have moved if you think the occassional criticism in the media is a left bias.

      And that’s all without a push in the media for Socialism or Communism.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      Nicky Hager’s speech:

      But my point here is that most journalism and commentary about the position of New Zealand policy on the left-right spectrum have been profoundly wrong. As the ACT Party campaign manager had explained to Brash, the way that usefully biased ideas are established is by producing “some common lines that become the ‘mantra’” and then, as the National Party’s Australian strategy advisors told them, you just have to “keep repeating it endlessly” (THM p. 165). This is a good summary of politics in New Zealand through the free market years and still today: endless hectoring from the business lobby groups and free-market politicians. If the public and opinion leaders understood that New Zealand is a bizarre policy outlier, then there would naturally be political pressure to move back to a less extreme position. But if repetition paints a picture of an extreme Nanny State, then the political pressure is naturally in the opposite direction. This is of course the purpose of this political distortion: it suggests that nothing needs to change.

      Basically, you’re wrong. NZ is hard right and the MSM is leading the way.

      • Chalupa Batman 15.2.1

        Whats stopping a bunch of you lefties getting together and starting up your own newspaper to combat the supposed right-wing newspapers?

        • Descendant Of Smith

          What me personally?

          I don’t purport to speak for a collective of other lefties.

          What reason would you like to hear?

          Already have a job
          Happy commenting on blogs
          Don’t have the expertise
          Wife wouldn’t like it
          Newspapers are dying anyway and you’d be a dick to try and start one up

          Can come up with a hundred reasons if you want.

          More pertinent would be asking why can’t the successful businessmen of this country come up with their own businesses instead of trying to pinch state run businesses?

          • Colonial Viper

            He’s right though. What’s to stop Leftys from putting together $5M to run their own weekly paper. Nothing except a few investors and a dedicated core of a dozen or so people.

          • Chalupa Batman

            What me personally?
            -Nope, lefties in general

            More pertinent would be asking why can’t the successful businessmen of this country come up with their own businesses instead of trying to pinch state run businesses?
            -Not really the point of my question. Lefties decry right-wing newspapaers and the MSM yet won’t get of their (collective) chuffs to do anything about it.

            • Colonial Viper

              Capital rests in the hands of the elite classes mate. Don’t ignore that. So do the cheque books of corporate advertisers. Don’t ignore that either.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Never forgetting of course that newspapers don’t make their money from selling newspapers, nor from selling news – they make their money from selling advertising.

                Also noting that newspapers generally are struggling and that news is being accessed more and more, and in more varied ways, on-line.

                I personally would but maybe 7 or 8 newspapers per year and mainly read OP’s now and then. Daily I can seek out a range of news and thought from across the world.

                Tell me then, Chalupa Batman, would starting up a left wing newspaper be a sound business decision or would it be a business folly throwing away money.

                My business sense tells me that it would be folly and that it would be a sound business decision not to go down that road.

                Do you have some business acumen that would suggest otherwise?

                And we do get off our chuffs to do something about it including blogging – I don’t think however the correct response is to try and start one up.

                • Chalupa Batman

                  The thing is lefties go on about right-wing MSM. A way for lefties to redress the balance is to start up a newspaper.

                  But instead of doing something positive like starting a left-wing newspaper (I’m sure its been done before) all I hear is moaning.

                  • fatty

                    Papers are a thing of the past, they are full of old news, much easier to get news off the net. A paper’s news is usually about 12 hours old (at best) by the time it gets out. Therefore most people who buy papers will be slightly backward…see why right wing papers do so well?

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    I hear right wingers whinging all the time about beneficiaries.

                    A positive solution to redress that would be to employ them, ensure that incomes are sufficient to support wages, to share the jobs around by reducing hours of work and increasing leisure time, to pay more tax to support those who are unable to work, to ensure local ownership and to take less in profit.

                    Instead of doing any of those positive things all I hear is moaning.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Online paid-content market poses threat to traditional advertising

                However, the knock-on effect of the rise of paid-for services is the loss of digital “pure advertising” opportunities for companies.

                “Although content consumption across connected devices is on the rise, the very services driving digital content growth are limiting pure advertising opportunities for brands,” she says. “Payment models don’t require brand advertising for revenue and … are driving consumer appetite for more ad-free content.”

                It could be done, just need to come up with the needed model.

                • Chalupa Batman

                  If lefties are prepared to put their money where their mouths are…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Stump up then mate. You want to see a proper newspaper in this country don’t you? Or are you just being an ass for ass’ sakes?

                    • Chalupa Batman

                      Why? Its lefties always complaining about the so-called bias, I’m merely posing a question (and offering a solution)

                    • fatty

                      suggesting that ‘lefties’ try to distort the hegimonic discourse by challenging powerful (but decreasing) institutions within a dying industry is only a solution if you are stupid. If you are not stupid, then its a smart ass remark.

      • higherstandard 15.2.2

        Can you list some other countries that NZ is to the right of in your opinion ?

        • Colonial Viper

          Neoliberal wave swept through most of the western world in the 1980’s. Carefully orchestrated and resourced.

      • karol 15.2.3

        Excellent lecture by hager, and touches on so many important things: from the increasing dominance of PR people and wealthy lobbyists, to the state of NZ politics.
        But also, he makes some important points about how investigative journalists (read, all good journalists) are anyone who investigates thoroughly, looking for the truth – it doesn’t need to be MSM journalists”.

        • Jenny

          Why? Its lefties always complaining about the so-called bias, I’m merely posing a question (and offering a solution)

          As has been pointed out by Descendant Of Smith,further up the thread. Newspapers make their income not on their cover price but on the advertising space they sell. If they relied on their cover price it would barely cover the cost of production. If they raised the price, they could never compete with those papers that rely on advertising income, not only that from $2 dollars for a Herald you would be paying $5 or $10 or more dollars for your daily rag.

          Why is this pertinent?

          Because capitalist enterprises will not be placing any advertising in a newspaper that advocates for their regulation, or for stronger union rights for their workers, or demands that they stop polluting the environment.

          Further than this advertisers often set the editorial tone if not the line of most the media they are effectively sponsoring with their advertising money. This goes for TV and radio as well as newspapers.

          There you are Chalupa Batman I have answered your question. (and pointed out why your solution won’t work).

          To misquote Anatoly France; Not only are both the wealthy and the poor free to sleep under bridges they are also both free to set up $multi-million dollar newspapers.

          This is the beauty of the internet. You don’t need multi million dollar advertisers who will pull their funding if they don’t like what you say.

          This is why the Electronic Intifada played such a big role in the Arab Spring. The rich and powerful were no longer the only voice making comment and organising society around their ideas.

          This phenomenon can only spread and grow, eventually becoming stronger and more influential than the mainstream media. Indeed, Chalupa, it is why you yourself are commenting on this blog instead of writing a letter to the Herald.

          • Jenny

            On this note I might also mention that as well as suffering declining readership, the Herald’s letters column has been getting smaller. Now that people have a choice other than following the mainstream rightwing opinion expressed by the Herald they are leaving it in droves.

            Why? Because not being content just to control the editorial line, the Herald has enforced a strict policy bias against publishing left wing letters effectively expressing policy they disagree with. I can personally vouch for this, after many years of writing to the Herald with little result. Like many others I have given up. I will no longer be wasting my time.

            And even in their on line version, the Herald and other mainstream news sites don’t allow comment on most of their right wing propaganda pieces. (However they will allow it for lifestyle pieces on fashion etc or in simple yes and no answers to carefully worded leading questions, posed in on line polls.Healthy and reasoned debate backed up by facts is not something they can tolerate.)

            • just saying

              A few years ago, a friend of mine did the same.
              She was fed up with the “editorial balance” of the letters page, so she took to regularly writing to them on a number of subjects. I’m not sure if they published any, other than one short, witty, and not particularly political, letter.

              To make matters worse, when they did publish letters with a differing viewpoint similar to her’s, they were invariably incoherent, illogical and badly written – the worst possible examples, with letters agreeing with the paper’s line published at a rate of about six to one. Because of her own efforts (and she’s won a couple of prizes for her writing in the past), she knew it was a deliberate editorial policy to make opposing viewpoints look bad.

      • aerobubble 15.2.4

        Exactly. Take asset sales, everyone agrees when floated on the share market will attract foreigner buyers. Those investors will take their profits overseas, and so make it harder for NZ debtors to pay back their debts, as that money stops going into government coffers, as that money stops going into investment in NZ, jobs for Kiwis. But since the left hold such a rapacious hold on the media we of course hear this every single day, NOT. Globally, globalization, has made the world one economy, when they print money and don’t sell state assets elsewhere, then its unfathomable why we should do the exact opposite. We don’t have to align but selling at the bottom of the market, with a cashed up China, and empty pocket middle NZ, its just damn odd.

        But hey National aren’t a capitalist party, they are a crony right wing socialist nationalist party.

        • PlanetOrphan

          Well said aerobubble! , and good civilised journos are fighting back by the way.

          The trick is to relay your own opinions or “Thinking Ground” as well as the facts, that way people will know the perspective of the data, and will understand/trust it much more.

          Hence why I like the articles on the standard, but hate WhaleOil.

  16. xtasy 16

    So this is “the left” website in NZ, is it?

    I am sorry, this IS A SICK JOKE! For memory:

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